Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, has challenged fellow cabinet Ministers to a moderated public presentation of their 2017 scorecard.
According to him, there was no cabinet Minister who outperformed him in the preceding year.
Dalung, who gave the challenge while speaking in Abuja at an award event for the 2017 Retirees of the Ministry and athletes who won medals for Nigeria last year, said: “In 2017, if we are going to assess the performance of all Federal Ministries in Nigeria, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development will come out tops.
“I am challenging any Minister with a record superior to my Ministry’s to come out and show Nigerians his record. There is none. I reiterate my challenge; let’s showcase our achievements before the public.
“We qualified for the world cup for the first time in the history of Nigeria, with one match ahead. The qualification came without the usual presidential task force that used to gulp not less than seven billion naira; this means that the ministry has saved Nigeria from losing seven billion through that single effort.”
According to him, in 2015, a Nigerian emerged the world Scrabble champion and in 2017 Nigeria won it again back to back; this is a great achievement that is worthy of celebrating.
Dalung further listed some of the sports that won medals in 2017 to include; Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Wrestling, and Weightlifting.
“If we are to go by the medals that have been harvested in 2017, if we are going to attach monetary values to them, the contribution of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development through the various young athletes who have made the country proud, they would be so enormous.
“One of the successes that remained indelible in my mind is the medal won by our Hockey team in Islamia, Egypt. Hockey in Nigeria has not participated in international competition for about 14 years. But in 2017, Nigeria competed and won bronze,” the Minister said.
On the on-going CHAN tournament in Morocco, Dalung noted that with the defeat of Libya, it is clear Nigeria is aiming to win the championship.
“I sincerely believe that if there is any better place to keep that trophy, it is in Nigeria. Our players by God’s grace will not disappoint us,” he stated.
The Minister also called for prayers on the Super Eagles who will be playing in Russia for the World Cup in June; adding that, “so many people, so many tacticians have been saying the farthest we went was the round of 16. I am very optimistic human being and in all my life, I have never competed with anybody and believe I will be defeated.”